The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of a Marshalltown man found guilty of murdering his girlfriend. A jury found Pedro Perez-Fuentes guilty of first-degree murder for the May, 2005, strangulation death of Laurie Reyes.
The Court of Appeals ruled that "in spite of a less than perfect translation of the Miranda warnings" Perez-Fuentes "knowingly and intelligently" waived his right not to talk with authorities. Attorneys for Perez-Fuentes have argued his statements to police should have been thrown out because of the poor translation of the Miranda warnings.
His attorneys also argued there was insufficient evidence to convict him of the woman’s murder, but the Court of Appeals cited Perez-Fuentes history of abusing Reyes, as well as his repeated threats to kill her if she was with another man. Reyes was killed after she tried to end her relationship with Perez-Fuentes and went to Des Moines to be with another man. Perez-Fuentes is serving a life sentence, which means he will never be eligible for parole.